Smart Missile colt is Guineas-bound

Mick Price is looking ahead with some confidence to the Bill Stutt Stakes and the Caulfield Guineas after Masculino’s all-the-way win over 1509 metres at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

It was the first try in city company for the son of Smart Missile after his 2YO debut win last April, and an easy victory over 1400 metres at Cranbourne on 27 August. 

Jake Noonan took advantage of Masculino’s ace draw to roll forward and take up the lead where the colt settled comfortably, despite being pressed in the middle stages by Sheer Madness.

Coming round the turn, Masculino had all his rivals in trouble except the top-weighted Eshtiraak who emerged quickly to challenge, but was held at bay by Masculino who rallied gamely to win by a long neck with Sunquest third.

Watch Masculino win at Moonee Valley.

Mick Price said, “I was happy that he won, he does have some improvement in him, I think he’s going to be a nice big Flemington horse if he trains on after the Caulfield Guineas.

“He handled Moonee Valley well, the Bill Stutt will be a little bit tougher but that will be the way he’s going.”

Bred by Grant Ahearn & David Yu, Masculino is the second winner left by Special Melody (by Encosta de Lago), an unraced daughter of three-time Group 1 winner Special Harmony and sister to multiple stakeswinner Little Surfer Girl. Special Melody is due to foal this Spring to Not A Single Doubt. 

Masculino was offered by Glastonbury Stud at the 2016 Magic Millions Sale where Mick Price & Luke Wilkinson bought him for $120,000.

Already 2015/16’s Champion First Season Sire  and the 2016/17 Leading Second Season Sire by winners, Smart Missile is off to an excellent start this season. His 15 winners and more than $600,000 prizemoney give him an early lead among Australia’s stallions with three crops of racing age, and 15th spot on the General Sires’ table.  

Bell River celebrates Extreme success

Extreme Choice became Not A Single Doubt’s 30th stakeswinner in spectacular fashion at Randwick on Saturday in the $500,000 ATC Inglis Nursery 1000m (R) LR.

The 2YO colt jumped smartly from barrier three, took up a comfortable lead and when called upon by Glyn Schofield, instantly found another gear to score by two lengths from So Serene with a further six lengths back to Rampage (a new stakes performer for All American), who finished off strongly for third.

The winning time of 56.85 and especially the last 600-metre sectional of 33.91 underlined the merit of the colt’s performance.

Watch Extreme Choice win the Inglis Nursery (R) LR.

The $294,000 winner’s cheque richly rewarded the good judgement and careful planning of Extreme Choice’s Melbourne trainer Mick Price and his Bloodstock Manager Luke Wilkinson, who selected the colt at the 2015 Inglis Classic Sale, as well as the team of owners who took shares in him.

It was equally satisfying for Andrew & Georgie Ferguson of Bell River Thoroughbreds who bred Extreme Choice with good clients Lloyd Walker & Bob Hogno and sold him for $100,000.

The Fergusons have been staunch supporters of Not A Single Doubt from the start of his career, sending mares to him every season and pin-hooking his weanlings, as well as purchasing mares in foal to the brilliant son of Redoute’s Choice.  That’s how they bred Extreme Choice (ex Extremely, by Hussonet), and Matthew Smith’s Rosehill winner and Magic Millions 2YO Classic contender Faraway Town (ex London Calling by Dehere), a $200,000 purchase by Mystery Downs.

The handsome financial returns now include the $50,000 vendor & supplier bonuses attached to the Inglis Nursery win, but Andrew is keen to talk about Bell River’s four named 2YO graduates by Not A Single Doubt, two of them yet to race. They were part of a 2015 Class he describes as “the best team of horses we’d taken to the yearling sales in the eight or nine years we’ve been operating.”

Andrew remembers, “Extreme Choice was just a neat, compact horse with a tremendous walk, while No Doubt A Star [ex Radiant Star, and a recent trial winner] was a showy, flashy type.” Bought by Paul Beamish on behalf of a Hong Kong client for $270,000, Bell River’s best-ever sale result, No Doubt A Star won a Randwick trial from the John Sargent stable in November and is a Golden Slipper prospect.

A third colt, Nasdex (ex Indexed by Marauding, and trained by Peter Moody for a First Light Racing syndicate), won a jumpout and was subsequently gelded. Now back in pre-training, he’ll return to Caulfield after Christmas and be given his opportunity to go down the Blue Diamond path.

Andrew reckons that admirers of Faraway Town or Extreme Choice need only look at the farm’s two Not A Single Doubt yearlings catalogued for the 2016 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.

He says, “The filly out of Possessed reminds me a lot of Faraway Town. She has a different physique, she’s more of a 1400-metre/miler type, but she’s very like Faraway Town in her attitude, just does her work without fuss, she’s totally professional.

“The colt out of Wilde Irish Song is like Extreme Choice, he’s compact and nuggety, correct with a good attitude, and he’s done really well through his preparation.”

Andrew has no hesitation describing what makes Not A Single Doubt so attractive to breeders and buyers alike.

“Speed and precocity, and they nearly all run. He gets carnival horses, he gets runners and winners in town, and syndicators & trainers love buying them because he stacks the odds in their favour.”

Andrew is confident that Not A Single Doubt will make a very good broodmare sire too, and he’s already backed his judgement by adding the talented but unraced Mill Park-bred filly Daisy Lane, a half-sister to Captain Sonador, to the Bell River broodmare band.

Not A Single Doubt is now third on the Australian General Sires’ list with $4.1 million, and heads the table by winners with 74 – seven of them stakeswinners. He has 32 yearlings catalogued for January’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale, five lots in the Inglis Classic Sale; and seven in the Inglis Melbourne Premier Sale.